Saturday, March 31, 2012

Netgunsmith.com


March is winding up, and turkey season is getting into full swing in most states. If you haven't been able to go yet, hopefully you will in the coming weeks. I haven't been as much as I would like, but hopefully that will change soon! I want to get one tom with my Remington 870, then I'm going to break out the ground blind and try to get one with my Hoyt.

I've got some great news! I'm going to be writing a weekly column for the website netgunsmith.com. My column will be focused on hunting and the outdoors, and different ways that firearms relate to our sport. 

Netgunsmith.com is currently ranked 175k on Alexa, which provides information about websites including top sites, internet traffic stats and metrics. This is an impressive feat considering that the site has been marketed for less than a month. According to Benjamin Worthen they are jumping 20k places a day, and expect to be in top 100k in less than a week and a half, and top 50k in about a month and a half. I'm really excited about the opportunity to write for them, as well as for the increased traffic my blog will get through backlinks from the site.

You can expect my articles to be similar to what you see here, but focused more on the firearms aspect of hunting. I'll also cover some news, politics, and other things pertaining to hunting and the outdoors. If you have any suggestions or ideas for topics for me to write about, I'd love to hear them!

I'll post when my first article is up.  In the meantime, check out the site. There is lots of great and interesting content from a variety of writers. They cover everything from gunsmithing, survival and politics to military weapons and zombies. Surely there's something there for everyone.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hunting and the Media



Donald Trump, Jr. and his brother Eric have been taking heat from the media about a recent hunting trip they took to Africa. The brothers pursued and bagged several species, and although this is the first I've heard of their outdoor interests, I'm pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately, much of the world isn't as pleased and a tsunami of hate has been unleashed on the brothers.  It's utterly amazing the type of contempt the guys have endured simply for taking a hunting trip.

In this day and age, just about everything is "Ok." All kinds of lifestyles are accepted by the liberal media, and in-turn, most Americans. Unspeakable make-believe violence and who knows what else is broadcast on movie screens and TV's across the country. Rappers proliferate the airwaves with words that would get you kicked out of most public places and considered a racist. But let a couple high-profile guys go on a hunting trip and the world seemingly turns against them.

I say the world, but I think a lot of the stink in this situation has been caused by ignorant media convincing a misinformed public that hunting is "evil." Others are calling this a "publicity stunt" and claiming that photos of the hunt were deliberately leaked to the media. Well if that was the case, I would say it severely backfired. They would have been better off with a two month marriage to gain some positive media coverage.

The most surprising repercussion is that Camping World, an RV and outdoor supply company, dropped their sponsorship of Donald Trump, Sr.'s popular reality show "Celebrity Apprentice" after news of the hunt came out. Are you reading that? An outdoor supply company. Their CEO is quoted as saying "I wouldn't spend another nickel with them." Well, I wouldn't spend a nickel with him.

I'm very proud of the way Donald Jr. has handled the pressure by sticking to his guns, and defending his lifestyle and hunting in general. He's been attacked by crazed ecotards on Twitter, and he fights back with intelligence and shows no signs of backing down just because they think he's wrong. If you're on Twitter, follow him and check out the things people are saying to him. It's almost comical how misguided they are, but for the hunting community, it's also sad. So many accuse them of wrong-doing, when no laws were broken and no ethics codes were violated. Another interesting note is that the meat from the animals the Trumps killed fed an African village for weeks. How many of the ecotards attacking these guys can say they did the same?



Hunting is a vital part of the African economy. The money that hunters pay and the meat that feeds villages near the hunting grounds do more good than people imagine.  Just think of how much meat an elephant would produce. That will feed A LOT of people.

Several other celebrities have taken heat lately for hunting, including Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, and Bob Parsons, CEO of GoDaddy.com. I have gained new respect for both, not only due to their business success, but for standing up and saying "I am a hunter." It's about time Uncle Ted Nugent got some celebrity support. God bless them all.

All of this also makes me think of how we hunters need to be more involved on a smaller scale. Anti-hunters are plentiful here in Atlanta, and their dissent toward hunting leads to more and more deer/car collisions each year. When urban hunts are organized, protesters are willing to put their own lives at risk in the name of their "cause." PETA takes a bad rap, but I doubt most locals even know what PETA does. It's a misinformed public that creates this hostility toward the hunting community, not an organization. 

Can we change public perception? I don't know. But I will do all I can when I can. Hunting may be the only thing I have in common with Eric and Donald Trump, Jr. But I'd be proud to share a hunting camp fire with them any day.

Adam

Friday, March 2, 2012

RunKeeper Training Aid


RunKeeper is an awesome fitness tool I discovered through Twitter a while back.  RunKeeper allows you to keep track of your fitness goals by recording your running activity, in addition to stats such as your weight and calories burned.  Using Google maps, RunKeeper tracks the routes you take and if you're like most people and frequently run the same route, you can store your frequent routes for easy updating after your run.



Another cool feature is you can sign up for races, and using RunKeeper you'll be able to tell if you're on-track to compete at the level you would like.  There are also Fitness Classes you can sign up for. Basically these are specific plans that will help you achieve a goal.  For example, several of the classes focus on getting you from a beginner level to running a 5k.  The Class guides you through routines that will get you into top shape in the most effective way and least amount of time.

You can also set up a "Street Team" of friends, and together you help keep each other in check.  When you post a new activity, your Street Team sees it and can comment or give you encouragement.

Like most programs today, there are mobile RunKeeper Apps available for iPhone and Android phones.  This is a super convenient way to update your run on the go.

All of this is available for FREE with a basic RunKeeper account. You can also sign up for RunKeeper Elite for $4.99 a month.  Elite features live activity broadcasting and advanced fitness tracking reports not available with the basic account.

The biggest advantage I see to RunKeeper is for people who sometimes struggle with motivation to get out and run.  We've all been there, but the StreetTeam aspect provided by RunKeeper gives you a little positive peer pressure which will help get you going.

So if you're serious about your running and would like a great way to stay on track, check out RunKeeper.com.  And if you're already signed up, you might as well add me to your Street Team. Here's a link to my profile: http://runkeeper.com/user/adambrister/profile

There is no off season.

Adam